The 2018 Pennsylvania Health Literacy Coalition Meeting

Please join us for our annual Pennsylvania Health Literacy Coalition Meeting. This two-day event will take place on April 30 and May 1 at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square (25 South Queen Street, Lancaster, PA 17603).

April 30: This day will feature an all-day health literacy training, “Communicating to Connect: Strategies to Improve Health Literacy.” This previously offered program is based on the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation’s Health Literacy Train-the-Trainer program, which provides an overview of health literacy, health outcomes, and methods for enhancing patient interaction and communication.

Click here to register for the Health Literacy Training.

May 1: This day will feature a series of sessions on rotating topics in health literacy. Our keynote speaker will be Christopher Trudeau, JD, Associate Professor, William H. Bowen School of Law, University of Arkansas Little Rock and Center for Health Literacy, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).

Click here to register for the Health Literacy Meeting.

COACH Healthy Food Access Pilot

March 22, 2018


Collaborative Opportunities to Advance Community Health (COACH) is a collaborative sponsored by the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) and facilitated by HCIF to improve community health in southeastern Pennsylvania. COACH recognizes that having access to sufficient nutritious food is a social determinant of health that directly affects overall health status. The Healthy Food Access Pilot is a collaborative pilot program that brings health systems and community partners together to screen patients in the Philadelphia area for food insecurity and to refer those in need to community resources.

COACH representatives shared some of the lessons learned from the Healthy Food Access Pilot to date in a presentation given at the Association for Community Health Improvement National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia on March 15. This well-received breakout session focused on the contributions of a “collaboratory” approach to community-responsive care. After the session, presenters answered questions from engaged audience members regarding the benefits of multi-hospital collaborations, continuous shared learning, data transparency, and adaptive process improvement. Presenters represented the Health Care Improvement Foundation, the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, and three COACH member institutions: Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Temple University Health System.

Engaging Local Social Workers in Health Literacy and CPR Ready

On Thursday, January 18, 2018, two HCIF staff members presented at Philadelphia Corporation for Aging’s (PCA) Information and Referral Council Meeting at Center in the Park. The Council is a forum for providers who serve older adults and people with disabilities, highlighting the resources available to these groups.

Susan Cosgrove, MPA, CPHQ, Project Manager, Team Leader of Health Literacy Initiatives, delivered a presentation on HCIF’s health literacy initiatives, highlighting partnerships with six senior-serving organizations in the region, including Center in the Park. HCIF’s health literacy education for older adults employs a peer education module, engaging seniors to lead trainings in their community members on the National Patient Safety Foundation’s Ask Me 3.

Bret Marlowe, Project Coordinator, spoke about the need for CPR training to improve bystander CPR and cardiac arrest survival rates in Philadelphia. CPR Ready seeks to address this issue through community outreach and training. Since CPR Ready’s launch in June 2016, over 49,000 people have been trained in hands-only CPR by CPR Ready partners. If your company, community organization, church, etc. would like to receive free hands-only CPR training, please send an email to

Creating Connections at the 2017 Pennsylvania Health Literacy Coalition Meeting

Since 2015, HCIF has convened health literacy stakeholders in Pennsylvania on an annual basis to explore strategies to address health literacy in the Commonwealth. The 2017 Pennsylvania Health Literacy Coalition Meeting marked the third convening of this group. Held in State College, the event drew attendees from all regions of Pennsylvania.

Activities began on Monday, May 15, with a full-day training on health literacy developed and delivered by Rickie Brawer, PhD, MPH, MCHES, and Jim Plumb, MD, MPH, co-directors of the Center for Urban Health and faculty at Thomas Jefferson University. Training participants learned about the scope and impact of health literacy, practiced techniques to improve communication with patients, and assessed written materials for readability. The session also highlighted the importance of developing and using easy-to-understand websites, maps, and informed consent forms.

The meeting on May 16 opened with a panel presentation from members of the Adams County Health Literacy Task Force, who shared perspectives from multiple points on the continuum of care to demonstrate the effectiveness of working collaboratively to meet patient needs. For the rest of the day, breakout sessions highlighted health literacy work in different regions of the state. Topics included mobile health design, photonovels, regional coalition building, academic-community partnerships, language access, and becoming a health literate health care organization. Sessions were well-received, with attendees commenting on the value of both the content of the presentations and the connections they made with others.

HCIF will continue to engage partners in the Commonwealth to further the work of the Pennsylvania Health Literacy Coalition. Since 2010, HCIF’s regional and statewide health literacy initiatives have been funded by the Centers for Disease Control’s Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Health.